I'm fortunate enough to be married to an artist, whose current body of work just happens to encompass a genre of plants I'm not particularly knowledgeable on: succulents.
Saturday night she'll be debuting this series at Modernbook Gallery in Palo Alto; and so we figured it might be a good idea to be prepared for the inevitable questions with a few answers on what, exactly, she's photographed. No problem! says her landscape designer husband. Even though we didn't save all the tags on all the plants we bought for her project, I do know a few of them and I'm sure we can figure out the rest easily enough.
Seven hours, two bookstores and innumerable web sites later, I've got it. I mean, I got the names. I also got an education, and a new appreciation for this wild and weird genre of plants. I'm not quite ready to mimic an undersea scene in your front yard, but at least my planting palette now includes a lot more than just aloes and agaves. If you're at all interested in succulents, I can highly recommend these sites simply for their usefulness and beauty:
- Desert Tropicals is aimed at the Arizona gardener, but their online directory and companion CDs are exhaustive and well produced.
GoSucculent.com is an online nursery whose selection is matched only by the beauty of their photos.
Cultivar wins the "Most Random" award, as an "e-Magazine about exotic forms of Cactaceae", published in both English and Russian. Spasiba for saving my ass in identifying my most troublesome subject.
CactusShop.com is another online nursery with an exhaustive catalog and tons of cultural details.
California Cactus Center has a nice selection and also grows for contracts, which might prove useful if I ever decide to attempt that undersea theme.
Finally, I want to give huge props to A Trip Down Succulent Lane, who blogs with a freshness and consistent relevance that I can only aspire to. Her blogroll was an invaluable clearinghouse for me.
My mission complete, I'm off to bed now. I think I'll be dreaming of succulents... sweet dreams indeed!